Cardinals tame Giants

Friday, August 10, 2012
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright delivers during the seventh inning Thursday in St. Louis. (JEFF CURRY ~ Associated Press)

ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright embraced the stopper role.

The right-hander helped the Cardinals get back on track after a blowout loss by pitching seven strong innings and lifting St. Louis over the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Thursday.

The Cardinals, who have won seven of 10, lost 15-0 to the Giants on Wednesday, their worst home shutout defeat since 1961.

Wainwright (10-10) keyed the bounce-back effort. He allowed five hits and one run over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked three. He has given up two earned runs or fewer in each of his last five starts.

"We needed this win today," he said. "This is kind of what I live for. If there is a challenge out there, I'm ready for it. Not that you need more motivation but [the 15-0 loss] allowed me to focus a little bit more."

Jason Motte pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances.

Carlos Beltran hit his 27th homer to help the Cardinals take a 2-0 lead against Madison Bumgarner (12-7) in the first inning.

Beltran, who leads the NL with 80 RBIs, gave Wainwright all the necessary support with a 409-foot drive over the wall in left. Bumgarner has given up 18 home runs, including 15 on the road.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny told his players to put Wednesday's loss behind them as soon as possible.

Beltran, who has eight homers in the first inning, took those words to heart.

"Being able to go out there and score early, it was great," Beltran said. "That's what we needed to do. Yesterday was tough, but we were able to bounce back."

Matheny felt Beltran's early home run served to set the tone for the afternoon.

"To get that bad taste out of your mouth is huge," he said. "When we strike first, we've got a real good chance of making something happen."

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